20 January 2011
I remember once in London the realisation coming over me, of the whole of its inhabitants lying horizontal a hundred years hence - Tennyson, quoted in Audrey Tennyson's notebook.
We finally did it. We ventured out for a Sunday walk. New River Walk. London Canal Walk. Joining the two. Breakfast in a Turkish caff in Turnpike Lane, along the Harringay Passage, New River (neither new, nor a river) to Islington, following the canal all the way to Victoria Park, mugs of hot chocolate in Hackney Wick. Nine miles.
Mud and empty cans of special brew and old bras and condom wrappers to begin. Then smooth paths without barriers by the waterside, and not a soul passing that didn't either jog or cycle. Boards that showed routes and painted leaves punctuating length of London. Cold hands, bumping bags, rain mists. My hair was rats tails, my feet sighed when de-socked.
And then we'll sit
in the shadowy spruce
and pick the bones
of careless mice,
and spitwipe the blood from your chin
and fingerpluck the sleep from my eye.